Supermarket Morrisons’ efforts to encourage customers to buy wonkier-shaped vegetables have been branded “pathetic” by the chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The BBC show Hugh’s War on Waste last week saw the broadcaster giving away oversized and curvy parsnips outside a Morrisons branch in Wimbledon, to highlight the food waste he says is caused by supermarkets’ excessively exacting cosmetic standards. In response the supermarket undertook a trial of selling wonky courgettes alongside so-called ‘class one’ courgettes, but found the ‘ugly’ ones sold much more slowly. “When you see the frankly pathetic little trial that Morrisons did with those courgettes, where they put some really substandard squashy ended ones in one pile next to some gleaming perfect ones at the same price, would you believe, people went for the really lovely ones? That’s not what we’re asking supermarkets to do,” Fearnley-Whittingstall told the Guardian in an interview. Please, click here to read more at theguardian.com.
US: Albertsons bidding for three dozen Haggen stores
As many as 131 Haggen stores could find new owners this week as bankruptcy auctions kicked off Monday in Los Angeles. As many as 36 of the stores could be going back to Albertsons LLC, according to a list of qualified bidders for individual stores filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, which is overseeing the liquidation. Of the 95 individual stores up for auction this week, 59 have baseline bids. (supermarketnews.com)
US: Whole Foods likely to get cheaper soon
Whole Foods is hoping to lure back customers amid declining sales with more special offers and discounted food. According to Business Insider, same store sales are down 2.1% so far this quarter. In an effort to ditch its “whole paycheck” image, the grocery store will likely be offering sales on fresh produce, seafood, meat, prepared foods and more, it is said. It is not expected that there will be lower prices across the board. Instead, executives say stores will be “highlighting more limited-time discounts.” (foxnews.com)
AU: Coles launches new online technology
Coles has launched a new system called Power Pick that will allow staff to pick online orders more efficiently in-store. The new tablet-based technology will see the retailer fully automate its in-store picking process for online orders, allegedly increasing pick rate by up to 20%, as well as reducing the number of picking errors. Pickers will now be directed around the store using the most efficient route, with each products exact location identified for them. (igd.com)
Israel: Shufersal closes Yesh discount supermarket chain
Seven years after launching its Yesh brand, Shufersal has decided to shutter the operations of the heavy-discount chain, sources inform "Globes". However, the sub-chain Yesh Chesed, which targets the haredi population, will remain open. Over the past year, Shufersal has quietly shut down 21 branches - some of which were converted into the supermarket chains' other brands - as part of the process of endings Yesh's operations. (globes.co.il)
Aldi and Lidl named top brands in the world for their simplicity
Discount supermarkets have topped the sixth annual Global Brand Simplicity Index. While Aldi comes first on the global index for the third year running, Lidl has topped the list in the UK. Based on an online survey of more than 12,000 respondents across eight countries, the study by global brand strategy, design, and experience consultancy Siegel + Gale, ranks 585 brands based on their perceived simplicity. According to the survey, simplicity pays - 63% of consumers prefer paying for simpler experience. The simpler the brand, the more people talk about it, with 69% of those surveyed more likely to recommend the brand because it is simple. (independent.co.uk)
German monopolies commission chair reaffirms rejection of Kaiser's deal
The chair of the German Monopolkommission (Monopolies Commission), Daniel Zimmer, has reaffirmed the Commission's rejection of the acquisition of Kaiser's Tengelmann by Edeka, in an interview with a daily newspaper. Zimmer told Welt am Sonntag that he believes the Commission's decision to reject the deal was correct, due to the number of stores currently operated by Edeka, and the fact that the deal could lead to job losses. (esmmagazine.com)
Wawa plans 120 stores in South Florida
Wawa announced Monday that it plans 120 or more stores in South Florida between 2017 and 2022. The first ones will open in Palm Beach and Broward counties, with Miami-Dade County to follow in 2018. "Our plan was always to have a presence across most of the state," Chris Gheysens, Wawa's CEO said. (sun-sentinel.com)
Tesco: 'costs are a LETHAL cocktail'
The boss of Britain's biggest supermarket has called for reform of business rates and a rethink on the national living wage amid fears the extra costs could amount to a "potentially lethal cocktail" for the industry. Tesco CEO Dave Lewis urged the Government to work more closely with retailers to reduce the burden on them as consumers switch to online and convenience shopping at a time of squeezed profits and falling prices. (express.co.uk)
UK: Ocado Technology on hunt for more tech talent
Ocado Technology is looking to recruit 300 hardware and software engineers, as part of its plans to help develop the online infrastructure for other grocery businesses around the world. (essentialretail.com)
France: Intermarché departs Serbia
French retailer Intermarché (part of Les Mousquetaires group) is leaving Serbia, selling its nine supermarkets to local rival Aman. The deal has received the green light from Serbia’s Commission for the Protection of Competition. According to the antitrust authority, the implementation of the acquisition will not obstruct, restrict or distort competition on the local market, as after the deal Aman will only hold a 5 to 10% market share in Belgrade. (esmmagazine.com)
Russia: X5 Retail Group opened their 6000th chain store of Pyaterochka
Russian retailer X5 Retail Group announced that they have opened their 6000th store in the Pyaterochka chain, as reports fruit-inform.com. The new outlet is located in Kurgan, in the South Urals. This is the third store the retailer has opened in the city and the 517th in total since the beginning of 2015. At the same time, since the beginning of the year, according to data from 30 September, Magnit has opened 902 stores.
Annual growth in trade in Lithuania largest in the EU
According to Eurostat, annual growth of retail trade in Lithuania is one of the largest among the 28 EU states, as reports baltic-course.com. In September 2015, in comparison with September of last year, trade in Lithuania increased by 5.4%, and for a month, in comparison with August, by 0.1%. A more intensive annual growth was seen only in Romania (12%), Ireland (8%), Poland and the UK (by 6.3%). In Estonia retail trade for the year grew by 4.2%, and for a month decreased by 0.4%, in Latvia the annual increase was 4,4% and a monthly decrease of 0.7% was seen. In the EU as a whole annual sales grew by 3.7%, and in the past month - 0.3%.
Spain: Alcampo opens new format store with high quality fresh products
Located in the Vistahermosa shopping centre, 90% of the store is dedicated to food and particularly to high quality fresh products. Traditional counters are complemented by a strong range of local products. Alcampo has also incorporated more innovative elements like smartphone scanning. (igd.com)